Women are humans, so treat yourself accordingly


What.           A.             Week.


I spent most of Thursday & Friday on Capitol Hill - protesting, marching, listening to the hearings on my phone, standing in the rain.

I'm so glad that I did.

I met Elizabeth Warren and Mazie Hirono.

I heard Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillbrand speak.

Joan Baez touched my arm as she nudged past me, then sang 10 feet away.

All of them were extraordinarily inspiring . . . but you know who else was?

All the women I saw declaring that their own mental and physical wellness was of the utmost importance in this hideous moment.

Declaring that Your Own Wellbeing Is Essential is so courageous

in a world hellbent on telling women that our needs must always be shoved to the bottom of the list

in a world that expects so much of us, it feels like caring for others must require sacrificing ourselves.

I was grateful, this week, for every woman who showed that loving oneself and contributing to others doesn't have to be an Either/Or.

My friend Lisa generously thought to bring an extra-big umbrella when she joined me for the Thursday rally, and unapologetically said she was choosing to care for herself on Friday.

My colleague CrisMarie sent an incredibly courageous newsletter describing her own high school assault experience, airing her experience and normalizing it for the rest of us.

Women I totally inconvenienced - our guest instructor at the yoga studio, my personal trainer, many of my clients - all kindly thanked me for canceling on them so I could attend the protests. I was honoring my deep desire to participate, and they were honoring that I honored myself.

This was so generous.

My bestie Emma avoided the news Friday, but called me to say "I know you're in battle mode . . . . so what are you doing for self-care?"

My friend Elizabeth made delicious, nurturing soup for herself, and brought me a quart (which allowed me to avoid a third night of frozen pizza for dinner).

A woman named Jan admitted on a Facebook thread that she wanted to call Senators, but was nervous because she didn't know what to say, or whether a real person picks up, or what. Hey:

1. I'm always a little nervous, too
2. Write down what you want to say, or get a script from 5calls.org.
3. Sometimes a real person picks up, but mostly you'll leave a recorded message   
4. WARNING: if you call Ted Cruz's office, you have to listen to his voice on the machine. SORRY.
5. Please know that making the call is so more important than saying the perfect thing.

In sum:

What the world needs now are Women Being Real.

Women not pretending we have endless energy / confidence / resources.

Women refusing to see self-care and community-contribution as necessarily an Either / Or.

Women having the courage to care for ourselves, and in so doing

to encourage one another to care for ourselves.

We have a long journey ahead, friends, but in the promised land we're building, we get to be who we are without apology.

It will be worth it.

And please know:

When we pause

to care for ourselves
get support
be vulnerable for a moment
acknowledge we're humans with limits

this does not take us off course, or detract from the work.

This is the course. This is the work.

natalie millerComment